Central Coast man charged over online grooming of child – Strike Force Trawler

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad have charged a man following an investigation into alleged online procurement on the state’s Central Coast.

Last month, detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crime Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) began engaging online with a man from Sydney’s north-west.

Police will allege in court that the man believed he was speaking with a 14-year-old girl and engaged in sexually explicit conversations about acts he wished to perform on the child.

It will be further alleged that the man made arrangements to meet the child for sex.

Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives arrested a 50-year-old man at Tuggerah just before 10am yesterday (Thursday 30 June 2022).

A short time later, investigators executed a search warrant at a home in The Entrance, where several electronic storage devices and other items were seized to undergo further examination.

The man was taken to Wyong Police Station and charged with use carriage service – procure child under 16 years for sexual activity.

He was refused bail to appear at Wyong Local Court today (Friday 1 July 2022).

Online child safety information can be accessed via the eSafety website: https://www.esafety.gov.au/

Educational packages for parents and children are available from ThinkUKnow, a multi-agency program designed to educate and promote cyber safety: https://www.thinkuknow.org.au/

Strike Force Trawler is an ongoing investigation by the CEIU into the sexual abuse and exploitation of children facilitated through the internet and related telecommunications devices.

Regular covert online investigations are conducted by the CEIU; and police in NSW work closely with their law-enforcement colleagues interstate and overseas.

The Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad is comprised of detectives who are specially trained to investigate matters against children and adults, including sexual assault, serious physical abuse, and extreme cases of neglect.

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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